Humility Demands Intimacy

25 Jun
from Google Images

from Google Images

One of the most wonderful benefits of friendship is that folks get to see me in my most unguarded moments without our friendship being damaged.[1] Friends know us as we are, without the airs we hide behind in the crowd. Jesus once took a child as an example of a person in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:1-6), and placing him in the midst of the disciples, he told them that unless they turned back from what they were and became as a little child, they would never enter the Kingdom of God. Mark tells us that Jesus took the child up in his arms (Mark 9:36-37). Such a one is completely unguarded in his demeanor. He hasn’t yet learned to be discrete in his behavior. Folks who know such a one know the real person within.

I am at my most humble demeanor when folks don’t have to figure me out. Humility is being honest with the people one is with. Today, we have all sorts of secret organizations and spying agencies, including businesses and governments hiding behind a more cordial public image. We even employ experts in the field of public relations. It is astonishing that people should be trained to help folks use the right words and do the right things while appearing in public, thus hiding the real truth about themselves. Why do we lie or seek to deceive? Isn’t it because we don’t want to be known for who we really are? While we may justify our behavior to ourselves, we would be ashamed to understand that our intentions would become known by others outside our little group. Secrecy and deception are the antithesis of humility. One simply cannot step into the shadows and be humble, because humility is what I am in the light.

The ‘Real Jesus’ didn’t come to light trough a journalistic exposé or government investigation. On the contrary, when John pointed Jesus out to two of his disciples, saying Jesus was the Messiah, the two left John and asked Jesus where he was staying. Jesus replied: “Come and see!” (John 1:38-39). Jesus came to be with us (Matthew 1:23; John 1:14), and chose his disciples to be with him (John 15:16, 19, 27). His life was a witness of with-ness, lived in complete honesty before the world, but especially so with his disciples. He regarded them as his friends and told them everything (John 15:15).

One of the failings of modern leadership is that the more one is involved in his office, the less in touch he is with those he leads. We see this during the primaries when someone is running for a seat in the government, like the executive office of the presidency. We are able to see him often, even converse directly with him, touch him and even sit down and have a meal with him. Nevertheless, after he is elected and assumes his office, if we didn’t see him on TV, we’d never see him again, or if we do, it probably wouldn’t be until the next election. Under such circumstances it has often come to light that the one we saw, spoke and ate with in the primaries turned out to be a different person once in office.

Not so, with Jesus! His disciples saw him often, conversed directly with him, touched him and ate with him often. After Jesus assumed his office as Messiah, he remained with them in the person of the Holy Spirit—God with us (John 14:18). Not only so, but he dwells in each of us who believe (John 14:17; Romans 8:11; 1Corinthians 3:16), so that we can converse with him in prayer, touch him in our spirits, and eat with him often as we take in the word of God.

Perhaps one of the most intimidating scriptures for me is Luke 12:1-3. While this scripture may have a more direct intent of preaching the Gospel, I’ve also found with great regularity that it is true with many things that are said by folks in private. My identity is truest in private, when, perhaps only friends or family see me. My imperfections stick out in private, and my sins are never so terrible in my sight as when they are exposed to others. Confession, therefore, is of supreme importance, if I am to walk humbly before my God. While it is comforting to know that no one is perfectly righteous, still walking in the light has its anxious moments. Nevertheless, to walk in the light involves a choice; humility is a choice to be real in the presence of others, like a little child. At the end of the day, the anxiety one finds in the light is by far surpassed by the friendship or love of those willing to cover the abundance of imperfections they see (1Peter 4:8).


[1] As I said HERE, this current theme about the person of Jesus is based upon the book: The Jesus Style by Gayle Erwin. They are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Gayle wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read about Jesus.

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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Jesus


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